MATTHEW BARNEY: DRAWING RESTRAINT at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas West), until September 28 (regular AGO hours); THE CREMASTER CYCLE at TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West), June 7 at 4 pm; and RIVER OF FUNDAMENT at the Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge), June 6 at 6 pm, June 7 at 5 pm, June 8 at 2 pm. luminatofestival.com. See listings.
For the film component of its 2014 edition, Luminato brings Matthew Barney to Toronto. The singular visual artist is being celebrated by the arts festival in wild style, a retrospective of his work tied together with the newly opened AGO exhibition of selections from his Drawing Restraint video project.
Barney will be at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Saturday at 2 pm for a Meet The Artist event, in conversation with Luminato artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt and AGO curator Kitty Scott.
The biggest deal, clearly, is the Toronto premiere of Barney's new film, River Of Fundament, which screens three times this weekend at the Elgin.
A three-part "story of regeneration and rebirth" freely adapted from Norman Mailer's novel Ancient Evenings, it's six hours and 10 minutes long (including two intermissions), features Ellen Burstyn, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Elaine Stritch and has something to do with the American automotive industry. I do not know how all these elements relate to one another, but Barney is kind of a genius at finding the common ground between radically disparate points - as you'll know if you've seen his Cremaster cycle.
Um, you haven't seen it? Well, you're in luck. Luminato's screening all seven hours of Barney's hallucinatory magnum opus - with the man himself present to introduce it - Saturday afternoon and evening. Yes, it overlaps completely with that day's River Of Fundament screening at the Elgin. Obviously, I recommend making a weekend of it.
In non-Barney programming, the festival honours the late choreographer Pina Bausch with screenings of her 1990 performance film The Complaint Of An Empress (Tuesday, June 10, 1 pm, Lightbox) and Wim Wenders's artful 3D dance documentary Pina (June 14, 1 pm, Lightbox). Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A with an as yet unnamed member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch company.